BHMD IS OUR STORY IN 90 SECONDS OR LESS
If you have 90 seconds then you have enough time to watch Black History Mini Docs Presented by Legendary Producer-Director Neema Barnette (Civil Brand, Women thou Art Loosed: On The 7th Day, Queen Sugar).
This is a fast and entertaining way to educate young and old about the contributions of Blacks in American history. Think of it as "Cliff Notes" for the digital age. Barnette teams up with her husband Reed R. McCants (Cuttin’ Da Mustard, King Of Stage), also an award winning filmmaker who brings his unique style of storytelling to chronicle the many contributions and achievements of African-Americans throughout history.
The series features the stories of great heroes and she-roes like Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Thurgood Marshall, Madam CJ Walker, James Baldwin and Malcolm X along with great living legends like Angela Davis and Harry Belafonte. Famous contemporaries like Tupac Shakur will also be included as well as everyday un-sung heroes in the Black community who have devoted their life’s work to upholding the race and giving back. BHMDs is designed as a crash course in Black history. It meets the demands of our fast paced digital age, by using quick cuts and the cinematic savvy of music videos and movie trailers.
Designed for easy access, the series is available on smart phones, tablets, computers and presentations through any media outlet. Black History Mini Docs are commercials for OUR REAL HISTORY. Later sets will include: Writers, Actors, Producers, Novelists, Playwrights, Journalists, Politicians, Activists, Freedom Fighters, Musicians, Composers, Scientists, Inventors and Unsung Heroes whose work and sacrifice deserve tribute.
REED R. McCANTS
Creator, Producer, Writer, Director, Editor, Narrator of Black History Mini Docs
Along with being an exceptional graphic artist Reed R. McCants is a 40-year veteran of film, television and stage, has always been committed and devoted to preserving and nurturing the Arts in the Black community. A product of Harlem in New York City, Reed feels it is essential to give back.
Reed has created or co-founded three theatre companies in New York and Los Angeles. Rainbow Connection Theatre (1986 - 1988), Rebirth Drama Company (1989 - 1993) and the Live Theatre Gang (1996 - 2006). During these tenures, he has performed, produced and or directed well over 1000 theatre productions.
As a actor Reed has starred in Civil Brand, Woman Thou Art Loosed: On The 7th Day, Run for the Dream: The Gail Deavers Story, Project X and Road Raiders. He appeared in over 50 television commercials including the first Diet Coke commercial. Reed is the husband of legendary filmmaker/director and Executive Producer of Black History Mini Docs, Neema Barnette. Next year they will be celebrating their 40th anniversary in marriage.
Curator of Black History Mini Docs
Prominent and innovative director, writer, producer, Neema Barnette has engaged audiences with a body of compelling work that defies the narrow stereotypes of African Americans usually depicted in television and film. Barnette was the first Black woman to receive a 3 picture deal from a major studio in history (Columbia Pictures).Neema has directed over 60 hours of network television, 10 movies for television and 4 full length feature films.
A native New Yorker, Barnette attended the famous High School For The Performing Arts and began her career as a stage actress. Barnette started directing in theater at age 21, directing "The Blue Journey" by OyamO, at Joseph Papp's Public Theater. She won an Adelco Award for the first staging of the play “The Talented 10th” which opened at the Manhattan Theater Club.
Neema is the first African American woman in history to direct a sitcom, What’s Happening Now!! in 1986. Her successful debut resulted in subsequent directing stints on "Hooperman," "The Royal Family," "China Beach” (Peabody Award), "Frank's Place" (Emmy® Award), "The Sinbad Show”, "Diagnosis Murder," "A Different World" and many episodes of "The Cosby Show” (Monitor Award) and several movies for television, including “Better Off Dead”, “Scattered Dreams”, “Run for the Dream; The Gail Devers Story”.
In 2003, Barnette directed her first feature film “Civil Brand”, which earned many awards and played film festivals such as Sundance, the American Film Institute, Urban World Film Fest and the American Black Film Festival in Miami where “Civil Brand” won the $15,000 Blockbuster audience award. Her feature film Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day (2012) starring Blair Underwood was her 10th movie and third for theatrical release.
More recently, Barnette has turned her attention back to television directing some of the most popular television shows including, Being Mary Jane, Queen Sugar (as producer and Director), Genius: Aretha, Raising Dion, Luke Cage, Harlem, Reasonable Doubt and The Equalizer. Barnette is also a part-time educator, where she continues teaching aspiring directing students at UCLA and USC and her alma mater, The American Film Institute (AFI).
Writer, Producer, Narrator
Horace grew up in South Holland IL. He began his comedic career at the age of 15 performing at Giovanni’s in Dolton, IL. His travels have taken to Los Angeles, CA were he successfully graced the same stage as Martin Lawrence, Sinbad, Chris Rock and Chris Tucker at the famous LA Improv. While in Los Angeles, Horace has performed at the Comedy Story and Laugh Factory.
Glasper is not only a brilliant comedian but is a talented actor as well. He has appeared in feature films such as “Heaven Ain’t Hard to Find”, “Janky Promoters”, “The Parking Lot” (staring Hot Sauce and written by a fellow Chicago Comedian Barry Brewer, and recently filmed “The Prayer” directed by Dennis La White. Horace has worked with Keisha Knight Pulliam, Sindbad and Lil Zane in an up and coming film “Cutting the Mustard” by Reel Rebel Productions. Horace has appeared on the Nickelodeon’s “Just Jordan”. Horace has extensive stage performances. He has appeared in “Black Angels Over Tuskegee as Theodore/Layon Gray Enterprises, “A Soldier’s Play” as Pvt. Henson/Negro Ensemble Theater Company, “Perry Mission” as Militant/Negro Ensemble Theater Company, “Roselee Pritchett” as Lowe /Negro Ensemble Theater Company and “Day of Absence as Citizen 3/Negro Ensemble Theater Company. Horace has written a script, “40 And Leroy Smoke Cali”, that is slated for production. The script, “40 and Leroy Smoke Cali” led to a Webisode series.
Writer, Producer and host of BHMD Podcast.
With a career spanning almost two decades in theater, television and film, Bonita is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio, having worked or studied with Academy Award winners, Martin Landau, Ellen Burnstyn, Mark Rydell, and Al Pacino.
Also, Artistic Director of the Live Theater Gang (L.A. Company) since 1997, founded by Reed Live McCants, Bonita has directed and produced numerous plays, of note, Great Men of Color, starring Richard Gant from Men of a Certain Age; and produced Cheaters, starring Kellita Smith of the Bernie Mac Show. Along with Michael Stone Entertainment, Bonita co-produced a star-studded variety showcase, self-titled, Della Reese Presents. Brisker’s vast experience inevitably led to writing, and in due course, nominated for an NAACP Theater Award for Best Playwright for the collaborative work in the award winning show Feelings.
This ode to Lady Day is an original play which chronicles the untold stories of Billie Holiday’s public and private life. In 70 minutes, Bonita takes us on a journey back in time to the 1940’s, exploring our past when “lynching was still a picnic.” Billie Holiday reincarnates to give personal narratives of her triumphs and woes, interwoven throughout signature tunes, Good Morning Heartache, Strange Fruit, God Bless the Child and several others, paying homage to America’s ultimate historical milestone, while celebrating a new appreciation for herstory.
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